Collins Bird Guide Hardcover – 29 Sep 2011
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“The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.” The Birdbooker Report
From the Publisher
Reviews of the prize winning field guide
Winner of the British Birds/British Trust for Ornithology Bird Book of the Year and Birdwatch Book of the Year
our standard guide for many years to come - BBC Wildlife
As essential as binoculars - New Scientist
it really is a very good book - RSPB Birds
The richest and most comprehensive of the current guides - The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
***Buy this book before you consider buying any other bird guide***
Firstly you should never buy a bird guide that uses just photographs to show the birds. Take my word for it they will never in one photograph be able to show perfectly every feature required for correct id or capture colour variations accurately. The illustrations in this book show every detail perfectly, highlighting the relevant features, showing similar species together, covering male/female/juvenile plumages where necessary and importantly in accurate colour.
2, The descriptions are superb, every distinguishing plumage or vocal detail covered, telling you exactly what you need to know.
3, Useful detail is given about the status of the species, whether it is resident, a migratory visitor or a rare vagrant.
4, Maps showing likely range of each bird are shown, including colour detail that shows whether it is likely to be present all-year, winter or summer.
In summary this is a monumental effort by the authors to create the perfect bird guide in book form. As the owner of dozens of bird guides, I can say this is as close as I have seen.
I repeat, you should buy this before buying any other Bird Guide.
A copy of this book and a good audio guide to songs and calls is all you should need to identify the vast majority of birds you will see in the area covered by it.
It is an excellent guide, the drawings are first class.
I am only a part time bird watcher mainly from my kitchen window and the occasional walk in the local wood.
But this book has been invaluable to me.
Buy it you won't be disappointed.
On the cover it says 'The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain and Europe' and (at least at the present time) this is certainly true. The book is a little large to fit in most pockets - but all birdwatchers should be encouraged to carry a field notebook anyway (leave this book in the car, or at home or your hotel!) - if you do want to carry a guide with you it will fit in some large coat pockets, or easily into a backpack.
The illustrations, which are on the page facing the text and maps for each species, are excellent and show the birds in a variety of different positions (often including in flight), and illustrate all of the different plumages that are likely to be encountered. Important features are highlighted on the ilustrations by means of text captions and pointers.
The text is concise and contains all the most important information on identification and size, including verbal descriptions of songs and calls (often calls confirm an otherwise uncertain bird identification). Anyone who is not used to bird guides, and the birds themselves, will probably find that the phonetics mean very little - however if you have already heard the species being described they form an accurate reminder.
Anyone who uses a PDA may wish to consider the e-guide version, which has all the ilustrations and information from the book + recordings of the birds songs and calls - personally I find a book and CD (or MP3 files) easier!!
Does it live up to the hype? The earlier 'Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe' with Bertel Brunn is a landmark, a classic book that had everything right - perfect illustrations, clear and unambiguous descriptions. Has this continued in that vein? Well, yes and no. By-and-large, the contents are excellent. Extraordinary works of art show the appearance of each species, immaculate, stunning and intimate in their detail. This, coupled with perfectly clear and in-depth descriptions of form, plumage, song and flight, provides a wonderful guide to the identification of even the most easily confused species. For the size of the book, everything has had to be crammed in, and the visual 'feel' is of slight overcrowding - but this is unavoidable if you want a book this informative and descriptive for field use. The major fault is that for some species, some distribution maps contain inaccuracies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I very rarely leave reviews but just received this and it is brilliant, gives you a lot of information about each bird in an easy to access format. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Tracy
While the illustrations and descriptions in this book are of undoubtably high quality, there are just too many of them to fit into such a compact book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ebirah, Horror of the Deep